Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest National Park in the northern side of India, spread on an area of 392-square KM. The Park is located in southeastern Rajasthan in Sawai Madhopur district, to its northeast Kota is situated 110km far. Jaipur is the nearest airport, which is 160-km to southeast while, Sawai Madhopur is nearest railway station. The Ranthambore National Park is bounded by Banas River at the edge of the plateau. It is named after Ranthambore fortress which lies within the boundaries of the Park.
The prime idea for the establishment of Ranthambore was to start with Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in the year 1955. The project was established by the Government of India and then was declared a Tiger reserve in the year 1973. In year 1980, it was declared as a National Park. Presently, the Ranthambore National Park is known for its tigers, also a good place to take a glimpse of other wildlife.
A Voyage to Ranthambore
Best time to visit Ranthambore National Park is from November to May. The park remains close from July to September. Getting a glimpse of a tiger during daytime is easy. Other major wild animals which can be spotted includes nilgai, sambar, leopard, hyena, sloth bear, rhesus macaque, chital, wild boar and many more. Variety of trees and plants with reptiles and birds can also be found in this Park.
Save Tiger Project
During the past, human-tiger interaction and poaching was frequent. But after 1973, Government of India started a Project, dubbed as Project Tiger, which was expanded to more area due to success on initial stage.
The tiger population recorded in 1982 was 44, after which the figure significantly dropped to 26 in year 2005. Then, as per the reports examined by non-Ranthambore government source, there were 34-tigers in the year 2008 and more than 15-cubs. The ‘Save Tiger’ project was getting successfully executed. Villagers of that region were given incentives to stay out of the park region. Surveillance camera were fitted to protect the area from unauthorised access.
Other Points to note:
The Tiger Reserve, situated at junction of Vindhyas and Aravali. A fort from the 10th century is situated with dramatic slopes and conical hills in background. There are three big lakes namely Malik Talab, Raj Bagh and Padam Talab. The forest too is deep that abounds variety of aquatic vegetation which includes lotus, lilies and duckweeds.
To speak about geological feature, the park is surrounded by ‘Great Boundary Fault’. Also the architecture of the Ranthambore fort adds charm to the landscape surrounding it! Forest service has made passable road and maintained the area over the years. Several tourists not only from the country, but from around the world, visit the place to get a glimpse of royal tigers.
On entry, it is mandatory to hire a guide, one for every vehicle. The Tiger is not just prime attraction, but may people come to see the park residents and their culture. Variety of birds too can be spotted at this place. The prime food source of tiger is swamp deer, wild buffaloes and wild boar.
If you are with idea to spend a night at the camp site, definitely the idea is worth! The park gates open half an hour prior to sunrise and an hour late after sunset the gates are closed.